Thursday, May 30, 2013

Our First Week As a Family of Three

First things first, we had to give Ezra the tour of the house, and especially his room, which we put so much effort into. I couldn't resist putting Ezzy in his giant bucket of stuffed animals. I'm pretty sure there are a few photos of my younger brothers back when they were babies nestled into a giant pack of stuffed animals too. Neither Ezzy nor my brothers seemed to mind it though. 

Joe had the first week of Ezra's life off of work, and during that week our life mostly consisted of staying inside, wearing pjs, and staring at Ezzy while he sleeps. We can't get enough of him. He makes the most intense expressions while he's sleeping. He'll go from a devious smile to concerned raised eyebrows, to pouting, to almost crying, then back to peacefully asleep all within a minute. We keep wondering what deep, serious thoughts are going through his mind. Maybe he's remembering the  labor? That probably wasn't fun for him either. Or maybe he's thinking about how comfy he used to be tucked away in my uterus?


Aww, all my boys cuddling on the couch <3
When we weren't busy staring at Ezzy, or having Breaking Bad marathons, we did manage to get out into society a few times. Ezzy's first excursions were around our neighborhood. Sometimes he loves being in his stroller, taking in the sights and sounds and fresh air. Sometimes the stroller puts him to sleep. And sometimes he screams bloody murder and we have to take him out and carry him. He's an unpredictable boy.

The first Friday after we were home we packed the family up for a trip to the farmer's market. This was our first time at this particular farmer's market, and we all loved it. Well, Ezzy slept for most of it, but he didn't seem to mind it. Until we got in the car to come home. Then he screamed every time we were stopped at a red light. Longest 3 mile car ride EVER.

Ezzy also made his first trip to the grocery store and Starbucks before he was a week old. He was awake for those trips, and happy so long as daddy made sure to rock his carseat as we were walking around. It was quite the workout for Joe. I doubt I'll be able to keep him entertained that way when we make solo trips to the store in the future. 

Can't get enough of these guys
I'm so glad Joe took the first week off. He's been amazing at changing most of the diapers and soothing Ezzy when he's fussy. He's taken on every task except for feedings, and I'm sure he'd do those too if he could. He also pampers me and brings me pillows, water, blankets, and the ipad while I'm nursing. He is the best dad/partner and Ezzy and I are so lucky.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Baby Makes Three - Ezra's Birth Story

After 41 weeks + 2 days of pregnancy and 26 hours of labor, Ezra made his entrance into the world at 3:06 am on May 13, 2013. He weighed 7 pounds, 13 ounces and was 20 inches long. He is absolutely perfect and we are so in love.

On Saturday, May 11th, I went to my 41 week doctor appointment. Everything looked fine as far as Ezra's heart rate and fluids were concerned. The doctor estimated he was about 8lbs and asked if I wanted to schedule an induction. By that point I was about 2 centimeters dilated and had lost my mucus plug, so I asked how soon we could schedule the induction, thinking it would be a few days. When she said I could go in at 5pm that evening, I was a little surprised, but by that point I was ready to get the ball rolling so I told her to schedule it. 

Here's my last pregnancy pic:
41 weeks pregnant
I had read a lot of things about being induced, like the odds for a c-section are much higher, and the contractions can be more painful. Some people are in labor for days after being induced, and some people have their babies within hours of taking pitocin. I tried not to think about the worst case scenarios and just hoped for the best. I didn't have a birth plan going in. I just figured I'd see how painful the contractions were, and then decide if I wanted pain meds or not.  

We checked into the hospital at 7:30 pm that Saturday. The nurse asked me to walk around for a bit before they hooked me up to IVs and monitors. During the walk I felt a few relatively mild contractions. When they hooked me up to the monitors they discovered that I was having contractions 3 minutes apart, so the nurse was hesitant to start pitocin. They gave me two bags of IV fluids, and eventually we fell asleep, only to be awoken at 1 am by the nurse who checked my dilation, which was the same as that morning, so she hooked up a pitocin IV.

The next morning, they checked me again, and I was still only 3 centimeters. Around 1:00 that afternoon my doctor showed up and I was only 3-4 centimeters. At this rate, I was going to be in labor for at least a week. My doctor broke my water without any warning (VERY uncomfortable). The doctor told us there was meconium in the fluid, which meant they had to closely monitor Ezzy and make sure the labor didn't take too long. That meant that if things didn't start progressing soon, we'd have to do a c-section, which I really wanted to avoid.

Almost immediately after she broke my water I got my first real contraction. I was squeezing the heck out of Joe's hand. By the time my second contraction kicked in, I was asking for an epidural. Turns out contractions are VERY painful. Everything I had felt up to this point felt like menstrual cramps, but these new contractions were in my back and hips. Luckily, the anesthesiologist got there within a few minutes. They made Joe leave and as I sat up tons more water came gushing out of me. It felt like several gallons. All the while I was trying to sit still during contractions. As uncomfortable as that was, it was all worth it once the numbness sank in a little while later. I felt like a new person. My family showed up and I was able to visit with them during the contractions like nothing was going on.

Thankfully, things were actually progressing relatively quickly. Every time the nurses checked I was a few more centimeters dilated. It took me 11 hours from the time they broke my water to go from a 3-4 to a 10. Once I was at 10 centimeters the nurse told me we would wait an hour before I started pushing. Joe was sleeping at that point, so I woke him up around 12:30am to let him know we would start pushing in half an hour. By that point the medication had worn off somewhat, so I could feel the contractions in my back and hips, though not as intense as before. A little after 1am the nurse had me do some practice pushes which quickly turned into real pushes. From that point things were a blur for me. I will say that pushing was a lot harder than I imagined. Joe said he could see Ezra's head for awhile, and even though I could feel the contractions, I couldn't feel Ezra at all. I had heard many other mothers say they felt a strong urge to push toward the end, but I never felt that. Pushing was actually the last thing I wanted to do once the painful back contractions started. I had to rely completely on the nurses telling me what to do without any real idea of how close we were to the finish line.

After what felt like forever and no time at all, the doctor pulled Ezra out into the world. It was such a surreal feeling. After two days in the hospital he was finally here. And just like everyone always says, all the pain was worth it in the end. I didn't get to see him right away because a pediatrician was waiting to make sure he was ok after floating around in his meconium-filled amniotic fluid for who knows how long. It felt like it took forever for Ezra to cry, and I couldn't see anything, so I asked Joe if he was ok and right at that moment Ezzy let out his first cry. That was the best sound in the world. Joe and I looked at each other and we both started crying too. Joe stayed right next to me while the doctor stitched me up and the pediatrician checked out Ezzy. After what felt like forever they put him on my chest and most of the people left the room so we could have our hour of skin to skin time. Ezzy and I both looked like we'd just returned from a week-long battle, while Joe looked completely wide awake and elated.

Speaking of Joe, he was absolutely amazing. He stayed with me and Ezra for the entire five days we were in the hospital. Ezra is so lucky to have such an incredibly loving and hands-on father, and I couldn't ask for a more supportive and loving partner. I love both of my boys so much:

Cheers to Ezra